Zambia’s Chipolopolo made the early trip to Cameroon on Wednesday to take part in a four-nation pre-tournament friendly starting this weekend in Yaoundé in preparation for the African Nations Championship (Chan) that will be held from 16 January to 7 February 2021.
A 27-member team led by coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic left Lusaka ahead of the friendly tournament that will involve fellow Chan finalists Niger, Uganda and hosts Cameroon.
Zambia will face Niger on January 1, then follow that up against Uganda three days later.
Micho’s side will wrap their friendly itinerary against Cameroon on January 7, before moving to their Group D base in Limbe, where they will face Tanzania on January 19, Guinea on 23 and Namibia on January 27.
Chipolopolo midfielder Spencer Sautu said the team was looking forward to the three friendlies. The Power Dynamos FC player returns for his second Chan after making his debut at Rwanda 2016.
“I am sure you have seen that this team is full of players who have not played at this stage of international football and it will be a good platform for these guys,” Sautu said before leaving Lusaka.
“I believe the friendly games will help us a lot and everyone will be aware of what is expected from them before Chan starts.”
Sautu is one of the team’s four Chan veterans— including Zesco United defender Adrian Chama and Green Buffaloes midfielder Jackson Chirwa— who are heading for a Chipolopolo record-setting third successive tournament appearance.
Sautu’s Power Dynamos club mate Benson Sakala is back for the first time since Rwanda 2016.
Satutu, Chama, Chirwa and Sakala have all reached the quarterfinals in their respective last campaigns.
“Obviously in every tournament, every team wants to win it because that is everyone’s dream. If we don’t win it, then we have to reach the final to surpass the last two quarterfinals we have reached,” Sautu said. —Cafonline